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Barcelona haven't enquired about January move for Yerry Mina - agent

Yerry Mina's agent says there has not yet been any contact from Barcelona regarding a January move for the Palmeiras centre-back.

Barca have an agreement in place to sign the Colombia defender, if they wish to take up the option, after the World Cup next summer for €9 million.

However, with Javier Mascherano's Barca future uncertain amid a possible move to China, AS has reported that the Catalan club will push through a deal for Mina when the transfer window opens next month.

Mina's agent and uncle, Yair Mina, says he is unaware of such developments but that his nephew would be open to moving to the Camp Nou this winter.

"Barcelona have still not made any contact with Palmeiras with regards to signing [Mina] in January," he told COPE.

"He's a Palmeiras player and there's no indicator to say otherwise. I've spoken with [sporting director] Robert Fernandez but Barca have not defined anything, so everything remains the same as before.

"Barca have told Palmeiras officially that the option to buy is for July 2018. If they want to sign him in January, they will have to sit down with Palmeiras and tell them they want to take the option up.

"[Mina] is always willing. If they tell him he will have to arrive in January, he will have no problem."

Yerry Mina Colombia
Yerry Mina is a Colombia international.

Barca's long-standing interest in Mina, who is also a reported target for Italian side Sampdoria, may intensify if Mascherano does leave the club in January.

Mundo Deportivo reported on Tuesday that the club may let the Argentina international leave for China, but only at the end of January, allowing Samuel Umtiti time to return from his injury and Mina time to adapt.

Ernesto Valverde would then have Umtiti, Mina, Gerard Pique and Thomas Vermaelen as his four central defenders for the second half of the season.

Former Colombia international Faustino Asprilla says Mina is more than ready to take the leap to the Camp Nou, comparing him to former Barca and Juventus defender Lilian Thuram.

"Mina's ready to play for Barcelona," Asprilla said. "He already plays for Colombia, he's good on the ball, quick, dominates in the air. He would adapt quickly and he has a lot of character. He reminds me of Thuram."

Barca captain Andre Iniesta also said Mina would be a good fit at the club.

Asked at a news conference about Barca's interest in Mina and Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho, he said: "They both have their own qualities and would be great signings, but they still play for other clubs. If the club [Barca] wants them it's because they think they're necessary and that they are ready to deal with the pressure. There's no time for draws or losses here."

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.

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